• Pixma

    Finding local food in Indianapolis has
    never been easier.

About Us

Our mission is to enhance the health of our community by improving the food system and increasing access to resources and nutritious food.

FAQs

What is Food Security?

Mike Hamm and Anne Bellows define community food security as a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.

Is Indianapolis a food-secure city?

In short, no. According to SustainLane, of the 50 largest cities ranked in their June 2006 survey, Indianapolis ranked 45th in its ability to weather an oil crisis ("Sustainlane 2006 U.S. City Rankings"). When examining Indianapolis’ situation by category ranking, Local Food and Agriculture, the city does move up in the rankings slightly to 31.

SustainLane looks at a city’s access to local food sources such as farmers’ markets, and to a lesser degree, the number of community gardens. Philadelphia, with roughly twice the population of Indianapolis, ranks third in the Local Food and Agriculture category (eighth overall), and “boasts 18 farmers' markets and more than 400 community gardens” (Gerencher). For Indianapolis to compare statistically with Philadelphia, the city would need more than 200 community gardens—currently the city has around sixty, not all of which produce food. Access to local food via farmers’ markets is growing, however.

Why Buy Local?

Every time you purchase food, you make a choice that’s more important than just what’s for dinner. When you buy local food, you:

    Help keep farmers on the land, keep the local economy strong, and preserve our agricultural heritage.

    When purchasing directly from farmers, you have the chance to talk about the methods they use and the care they take to grow your food. By eliminating the middleman, more of your food dollars stay in the local economy, helping to keep these small farmers on the land and preserving the look of our rural landscape.

    Help the environment.

    Today, food travels an average of 1,500 miles from field to plate. When you buy local, fewer fossil fuels are burned to transport your food across the country or between continents and less packaging is needed. Supporting those who use sustainable farming practices also means that the land is treated in environmentally sensitive ways, which prevents soil erosion and protects the quality of our water.

    Taste delicious food.

    Buying local means you can enjoy eating with the seasons, preparing meals that showcase what’s farm fresh and harvested at its peak that same day.

    When you consider how this is all connected, you realize that your food choices really do make a difference. Your decision to buy local food helps create a stronger, more sustainable regional food system. Oh—and you get to eat more nutritious and better-tasting food for dinner, too!

What is Organic?

So, what does organic, naturally grown and sustainable mean? Not to mention pasture-raised, grassfed, and free-range. Below we have included some of the main categories and what they mean.

Certified Organic:

The USDA National Organic Program outlines the strict uniform standards that farms must meet in order to sell their products as organic. Organic growing methods replenish soil fertility, and prohibit use of persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Certified Naturally Grown

This certification program, administered by a nonprofit organization, is tailored to small-scale farms that observe growing practices based on the highest principles and ideals of organic farming.

Sustainable:

>Sustainable growing methods aim to produce food while minimizing damage to the surrounding physical and social environments.

Biodynamic:

Biodynamics works with the healthgiving forces of nature to improve the health of the planet and its people. Farms can be Certified Biodynamic by Demeter® USA.

Grassfed:

Pertaining to livestock husbandry, grassfed systems that raise livestock on pasture are ecologically sustainable, humane, and result in healthier meat, dairy, and eggs.

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Organic or Sustainably-Produced Foods:

  1. 1. Protect future generations
  2. 2. Prevent soil erosion
  3. 3. Protect Water Quality
  4. 4. Save energy
  5. 5. Keep chemicals off your plate
  6. 6. Protect farm worker health
  7. 7. Help small farmers
  8. 8. Support a beneficial economy
  9. 9. Promote biodiversity
  10. 10. Taste better flavor

10 Simple Steps

  1. 1. Eat low on the food and marketing chain - shop from the store's perimeter.
  2. 2. Stick with organic or sustainably-grown produce when possible. A study found that children who ate only organic produce had one-sixth the level of pesticides in their bodies of those who ate conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
  3. 3. East local - most food travels 1,500 miles on average.
  4. 4. Try a farmers market or CSA (weekly box subscription program).
  5. 5. Eat at restaurants that support local growers (see our Local Food Guide).
  6. 6. Shop at store that procure from local and organic growers and if your store, doesn't, ask the produce manager to stock such items.
  7. 7. Grow your own community garden or in your own yard. A 15 x 15 ft. plot can grow $600 worth of food on an annual basis.
  8. 8. Get in the kitchen! Plan and cook meals with your family and friends.
  9. 9. Join Food Coalition of Central Indiana.
  10. 10. Vote with your fork in the voting booth and with your dollars every day.

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